UE Structure of matter - CHI131 -

Diplômes intégrant cet élément pédagogique :


Modern chemistry is a physical science and, as such, is ultimately based upon basic mathematical and physical principles. This first semester concentrates on the basic physical chemistry of electrons in atoms, molecular bonding and structure, and crystal structure. First, the basic notions of quantum mechanics and structure of the atom is introduced with emphasis on the energies and shapes of the atomic orbitals. This is used to build up the periodic table and to understand trends in the physical and chemical properties of elements. Then, it concentrates on the structure and bonding of diatomic and polyatomic molecules beginning with Lewis dot structures and the valence-shell electron pair repulsion (VSEPR) model for predicting geometries. The quantum mechanical description of bonding is explored via molecular orbital theory. Then this is followed by valence-bond (i.e., hybridization theory) for describing bonding in polyatomic molecules. Finally intermolecular forces are discussed with the aim of understanding trends in boiling points, melting points, and solubilities.

In parallel, the crystal structure part of the course treats the key mathematics needed to understand metallic and ionic crystals. For reasons of simplicity, only cubic lattices and the hexagonal closest packed (HCP) lattices are considered.

Pré-requis recommandés

High School level physical chemistry: isotopes, molar mass, Avogadro’s number, periodic table, Lewis dot structures, vectors, geometry.

The notion of imaginary and complex numbers is helpful but not essential.

Compétences visées

  • Understand the quantum mechanical description of electrons in orbitals and how this is used in chemistry to build up the periodic table and describe chemical bonding in molecules.
  • Represent molecules using Lewis dot structures and three dimensional hashed-wedge representations. Understand and be able to use resonance structures.  Know how to predict molecular structure for inorganic molecules consisting of atoms around a central atom and for organic molecules of all sorts.
  • Understand and be able to make use of cubic lattice structures for metallic and ionic crystals, including such notions as the atomic packing factor, density, atomic radii (metallic, covalent, ionic, van der Waals), coordination number, coordination polyhedron, and associated calculations.


• Cours de chimie générale, Paul Arnaud (Dunod)
• Elements of physical chemistry, Peter Atkins (De Boeck)

Informations complémentaires

Lieu(x) : Grenoble
Langue(s) : Anglais